22 Jul 16. Russia Tested Hydrogen-Powered UAV in Syria. During the operation in Syria, the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO) has tested hydrogen-powered unmanned aircraft, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a top-ranking representative of the military-industrial complex. According to him, air drones equipped with hydrogen engines showed very good results during the test flights.
The source told RIA Novosti that enough many unmanned combat air vehicles that were flying in Syria used hydrogen fuel. “This means that such unmanned aircraft are able to stay in the air for enough long time, constantly producing hydrogen and allowing the engine to recharge its energy,” he added.
According to the representative of the military-industrial complex, all these drones have safely returned back in Russia. Currently, the researches on the impact of hot climates and sandstorms on the unmanned are conducting.
According to the Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defense and Security, Viktor Ozerov, the using of hydrogen engines on drones makes UAV less vulnerable to missiles with infra-red seekers. “Such engines have a lower heat loss, thus, it is less likely to detect drones,” he said.
A hydrogen-powered engine allows to make longer flights, although it has the same weight as kerosene and petrol power units. At last, it is cleaner from the ecological point of view, the Chairman also added.
Earlier, experts have repeatedly noted that the operation of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces in Syria spurred interest in Russian weapons, and potential contracts for its purchase can be several times more the Syrian mission expenses. (Source: UAS VISION/SouthFront)
21 Jul 16. Airbus to operate Heron 1 drones for Germany in Mali. The German Defence Procurement Agency (BAAInBw) and Airbus Defence and Space have signed a contract to provide Heron 1 surveillance drones to support the Bundeswehr mission in Mali. Similar to the mission in Afghanistan active since 2010, the unmanned aerial systems will be leased from Israeli manufacturer IAI and operated by Airbus. Military missions will be also in future flown solely by military personnel. The operations in Mali will start in November 2016 and are initially planned until February 2018.
“A major success factor for this new assignment is our experience gained in more than 2300 missions over Afghanistan” said Thomas Reinartz, Head of Sales for unmanned aerial systems at Airbus. “There we have proven our reliability to the full satisfaction of our customer – with a fleet availability higher than 95 percent.”
On July 1st 2016 Bundeswehr has taken over responsibility for the intelligence unit in Mali from the Netherlands. In the perimeter of the UN MINUSMA mission German forces are taking on their tasks mainly in the Gao region. The current threat scenarios and the size of the area of operations – the north of Mali is more than twice the size of Germany – require a long endurance surveillance system. Based on the extremely positive experience made in Afghanistan, German forces will therefore now also deploy the Heron 1 to Mali.
By using the current operator model the Bundeswehr benefits in various aspects. In addition to the high availability of the fleet and a high flexibility in terms of contract duration the German forces can focus entirely on their core missions. They also profit from the system’s full compatibility and interoperability within NATO.
The extension of the Heron 1 operational model is paving the way also for the next drone generation Heron TP, which has been selected by the German Bundeswehr Chief of Staff to succeed the Heron 1 and bridge the timeframe until a European drone development will be available.
19 Jul 16. MQ-25A Stingray Official Name for First Carrier UAV. After months of deliberation, the name and designation of the Navy’s first carrier unmanned aerial vehicle are now official: MQ-25A Stingray.
Approved following a lengthy U.